Business & Finanz
The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 04/07/2018

The Economist is the premier source for the analysis of world business and current affairs, providing authoritative insight and opinion on international news, world politics, business, finance, science and technology, as well as overviews of cultural trends and regular Special reports on industries and countries.

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The Economist Newspaper Limited - Europe
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8 Min.
the world this week

Politics France’s four main railway unions went on strike in protest against reforms planned by President Emmanuel Macron. He proposes to end railway workers’ special employment status, which includes employment for life. Energy workers, rubbish collectors and Air France employees are also on strike. The stoppages are the most serious threat yet to Mr Macron’s agenda of reforms. Italy’s president, Sergio Mattarella, launched formal coalition talks between the parties, a month after a legislative election produced a fragmented parliament. The populist Five Star Movement emerged as the largest party. But to reach a majority, a pact would be needed with other groups. Five Star has already ruled out a coalition with Forza Italia, the centre-right party of Silvio Berlusconi, a former prime minister and billionaire. Russian police arrested Ziyavudin Magomedov, a Dagestani billionaire,…

5 Min.
solving murder

THE planet has rarely been so peaceful. Even with terrible fighting in such places as Congo, Syria and Yemen, wars between and within countries are becoming less common and less deadly. But a dark menace looms. Some of the developing world’s cities threaten to be engulfed by murder. Of the 560,000 violent deaths around the world in 2016, 68% were murders; wars caused just 18%. Murder has been falling in rich countries (though London is suffering an outbreak), but it has long plagued Latin America and is starting to climb in parts of southern Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The world often goes to great lengths to stop wars. Just imagine if it put as much effort into stopping murders. Latin America shows what is at stake. It has 8% of…

3 Min.
how to stay on track

MAYHEM at railway stations. Gridlock on the roads. The scenes of strife in France this week were as familiar as they were symbolic. On April 3rd train drivers and other rail staff began a rolling strike, planned for two out of every five days, that may last for months. It could be a re-run of the strikes that paralysed the country in 1995, forcing Alain Juppé, Jacques Chirac’s prime minister, to back down in the face of chaos. How President Emmanuel Macron handles the confrontation with unions will determine whether he lives up to his electoral promise to “unblock” France, or joins the long list of French leaders defeated by the revolt of the street. A grève problem Strikes are part of France’s culture of protest. They are seldom just a demand…

3 Min.
copy that

AMERICA rarely looks to the bureaucrats of Brussels for guidance. Commercial freedom appeals more than dirigisme. But when it comes to data privacy, the case for copying the best bits of the European Union’s approach is compelling. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is due to come into force next month. It is rules-heavy and has its flaws, but its premise that consumers should be in charge of their personal data is the right one. The law lets users gain access to, and to correct, information that firms hold on them. It gives consumers the right to transfer their data to another organisation. It requires companies to define how they keep data secure. And it lets regulators levy big fines if firms break the rules. America has enacted privacy rules in areas…

3 Min.
dragons fly

OVER the past few decades, established airlines in Europe and America have been hit by one thing after another. First came low-cost carriers, chipping away at their short-haul routes. Lately, a new crop of super-connecting airlines in the Gulf, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways, has lured away their long-haul passengers with superior service and lower fares. Now looms the biggest threat of all—the rise of several promising Chinese airlines (see Business section). Unfortunately, the response of the incumbents risks depriving passengers of the benefits from this latest wave of competition. China’s airlines are rising up the world rankings at a breathtaking pace. In 2007 passengers in China made 184m journeys by air; last year around 550m did. The International Air Transport Association, a trade group, predicts that China will leapfrog America…

3 Min.
how to narrow it

PITY Britain’s press officers. April 4th was the deadline for employers in Britain with 250 workers or more to publish details of the difference between the average pay of their male and female employees, under a new annual reporting requirement (The Economist Group recorded a median gap of 29.5%). The overall figures are eye-opening: eight out of ten employers pay men more than women. Theresa May, the prime minister, has promised to tackle this “burning injustice”. Some take the numbers to mean that women are paid less than men for the same job. In fact the exercise bluntly compares employees’ pay without accounting for their differing roles—so Premier League football clubs have vast but meaningless pay gaps, as the men on the pitch are compared with the women on the turnstiles.…